British Columbia often falls at the epicenter of high-profile forestry issues. From massive wildfires to contentious protests, the story of BC forestry is operatic. We dive into the saga with UBC Professor Dr. Peter Wood, who

explains the relationships between industry, government, and society and how they’ve developed over the years. We’ll uncover the green veil of ‘Sustainable Forest Management’, and discuss ways to get to a system that works in the interest of people and nature.

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How did forest management start? How did it evolve over time? What is the rationale behind it, and where does it stand today? We sit down with our very own, Wildlands Senior Forest Conservation Manager, Dave to unpack all of

this, and explore some ways to push for a more sustainable system.

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In April of this year, the Office of the Auditor General of Canada released a report, indicating that the Canadian government did not report the greenhouse gas emissions from human activities on forests clearly. Why is this? How

does Canada count its greenhouse gas emissions from forestry, and how should it be different? We asked the team at the NRDC and Nature Canada, who have been working on this issue and have published a series of reports, detailing the flaws in Canada’s forest carbon accounting methods and what the forest sector’s emissions really are.

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A rapidly warming climate and the decline of many at-risk species, impacts that are being felt around the world, are no stranger to Canada’s forests. The Canadian Forest sector, which is dependent on the health of Canada’s forests, is a

billion dollar industry with important choices to make. We sit down with François Dufresne, president of the Canadian Forest Stewardship Council (FSC Canada) to talk about how Canadian forestry can evolve with the current circumstances, and where forest certification can play a role in the transition.

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Are you enjoying listening to The Clear Cut, and learning about all things Canadian Forestry? On this special episode, join hosts Janet Sumner and Kaya Adleman as they unpack what we’ve heard so far. We’ll reflect on all the important

themes from our previous episodes: forest fires, the rationale behind logging, barriers to policy change and potential solutions! We’ll also discuss some of the burning questions we have and look for answers. If you’re feeling in need of a recap, this is a show you don’t want to miss!

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Indigenous people in Canada have been stewards of Canada’s forests since time immemorial. And as forestry happens on their lands, it’s about time that on The Clear Cut we step into our forest management conversation

as Treaty Partners, to reflect on Canada’s relationship with First Nations people and the forest, and how we can build a path to better coexistence. In this episode, we sit down with David Flood, Registered Professional Forester and General Manager for Wakhohtoin Development GP, and learn about why forest management in Canada needs to be informed by Indigenous Knowledge, and what meaningful consultation with First Nations Communities truly looks like.

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In this action-packed sequel to the next part of our conversation with David Flood, we also sit down with Anastasia Lintner, non-practicing lawyer and co-founder of Backloop Institute, to give us an overview of the regulatory

frameworks with respect to Indigenous Peoples in Canada and their challenges. And of course, we dive back into our conversation with David to talk more about meaningful consultation, Canada’s Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and going beyond minimum forestry regulatory guidelines to pursue a better path to coexistence with nature.

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We return to our third and final chapter of our conversation with David Flood, Registered Professional Forester and General Manager for Wakhohtoin Development GP, to imagine a future for forestry that truly embodies the spirit

of coexistence with Indigenous People and nature. How do we transform our fibre supply to capture the complete value of the forest, and be less wasteful? How can Indigenous innovations and technologies be utilised? What can we do to better respect the forest? Listen to find out!

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Check out the first part of our conversation with Canadian conservationist Harvey Locke, currently senior advisor for the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative and Nature Needs Half. In our sit-down with Harvey, we

discuss the “next big idea”. Why is conservation so important for climate change, and where do Canada’s forests fit into that? Listen now to find out! 

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We dive back into our discussion with Harvey Locke, Canadian conservationist and current senior advisor for the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative and Nature Needs Half. Harvey elaborates on how we’re losing out by

limiting our climate policies to just “the smokestack side of the equation.” We gain some insights into the relationship between nature and the modern economy, and the limitations of the burgeoning carbon offset regime. As Harvey and Taylor Swift might say, we’re not “out of the woods yet” when it comes to getting these approaches right.

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Our trilogy series with Canadian conservationist Harvey Locke closes out with a splash. As Taylor Swift and Harvey would say, “Are you ready for it?” Harvey answers some big questions about his big ideas. Can those in

power be attuned to change? What does that look like in practice? Harvey also bestows us with some much needed hope this episode. Humanity has collectively acted to change for the better before… when? Listen now to find out.

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Happy holidays from The Clear Cut! As a belated holiday gift, we’re bringing you an awesome episode to wrap up 2023. This was a wild and info-packed year. We learned about the flaws in Canada’s forest carbon accounting

system, and the problematic nature of forest management practices in both British Columbia and Ontario. We also explored the case for a transition strategy of Canada’s fibre economy, and why it’s important that we integrate Indigenous knowledge systems into forest policy. And finally, we discussed the need to connect nature to our climate frameworks, in order to tackle the climate and biodiversity crises’ head on. Janet and Kaya pull together some of their favorite moments from The Clear Cut this year, and why it all matters.

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Happy New Year from The Clear Cut! Dive back in with a sneak peek of all the exciting things we want to cover on the podcast this year. From cumulative impacts, to wildfires, to defining forest degradation, there’s so much more to

explore in Canada’s forests. 

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We’re excited to be back with a new episode taking a closer look at a cumulative impacts (or combined effects of resource extraction over time) case happening in Ontario. Missanabie Cree First Nation, Brunswick House First

Nation, and Chapleau Cree First Nation have filed a case against Ontario, asserting the government has degraded the boreal forests in the province and inhibited their livelihoods, violating their treaty rights. We speak with attorney Amy Westland to get  greater context for the case and why it’s so important for moving forward on the path to Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and the health of our forests.

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We dive back into our conversation with constitutional lawyer Amy Westland to dig deeper on the case filed against the Ontario government by Missanabie Cree First Nation, Brunswick House First Nation and Chapleau

Cree First Nation. We cover the limitations of Canada’s exercise of consultation with First Nations, and why these cases could be a game-changer for the future of resource management decisions. How can this be to the benefit of our relationship with Indigenous Peoples, our environment, and society as a whole?

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We sit down with Justina Ray, President and Senior Scientist at Wildlife Conservation Society Canada, to talk all things caribou. Why are they important from a conservation and a forestry standpoint? How are they monitored?

What are the cumulative effects of disturbance to their habitat? Tune in to find out!

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We return to our conversation with Justina Ray, President and Senior Scientist at Wildlife Conservation Society Canada, to pick her brain on caribou. What do caribou conservation strategies look like in practice? Do they lead to

self-sustaining populations? What are some of the current challenges? All this and more.

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Hot on the heels of our caribou science conversation with Justina Ray, we turn to the policy side of the equation with Wildlands’ own  in-house  policy expert on Caribou conservation, Anna Baggio. You’ll hear her

unvarnished take on implementation of both the federal Species At Risk Act and Ontario’s Endangered Species Act. In spite of agreements and lofty goals, governments continue to prioritize harmful industrial activities in threatened habitat instead of giving caribou time and space to recover. All is not lost though. Anna shares her passion and drive and how you can make a difference.

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We return to the second part of our conversation on caribou policy with Wildlands’ own, Anna Baggio. If the Ontario government won’t protect caribou ranges from the looming encroachment of industry, who will? What’s the

role of the federal government, and what has been done so far? All this, and more.

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We’re in beautiful British Columbia this week with STAND.Earth’s Richard Robertson and Tegan Hansen talking forestry on Canada’s west coast. In the first of two episodes, we talk to our guests about STAND’s forest campaigns in B.C.

We cover the province’s approach to forest policy, how government and industry see B.C.’s forests as a tool in the renewable energy transition, and what the shocking carbon implications are.

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This week, we return to our conversation with Richard Robertson and Tegan Hansen from STAND.Earth on forestry issues in British Columbia. Wood pellets, or biomass fuels, from B.C.’s forests are being touted as a large-scale,

carbon neutral energy source. Does the carbon accounting behind those claims add up? What are some alternative solutions for the future of the forestry industry?

Richard and Tegan also share their experiences at last year’s climate COP in Dubai with us. Find out what it was like to be an observer at the biggest stage for international climate negotiations and how Canada’s forests can be affected.

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If natural forests are ‘self-willed, self-managing, and self-replacing’ to respond and adapt to disturbances like fire and pest-outbreaks, should we be logging more as some suggest? Or should our approach be more precautionary? 

This week, Michelle Connolly from Conservation North takes us back into the forests of British Columbia. She breaks down for us the severity of B.C.’s industrial logging impacts that her organization has documented through spatial mapping. While logging is advertised as a necessary means to manage B.C.’s forests, including for pests and wildfires, we unpack why fire and pests are actually part of the natural forest cycle.

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In part 2 of our conversation with Conservation North, Michelle Connolly gives us a lesson in forest ecology and forestry semantics. How does British Columbia and the forestry industry use seemingly ‘green’ language to justify more

logging of the province’s natural forests? Who is forestry sustainable for? The planet? The species? Or the companies?
We also get  a sneak peek into Conservation North’s new report on U.K. biofuel producer Drax, and how they’re continuing to source materials from rare old growth forests.

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What happens to the areas of Canada’s forests that have been impacted by full-tree harvesting? According to international rules the term ‘deforestation’ only occurs when a forest is converted into another land use, like a

shopping mall, farm or housing development. We don’t count formerly forested areas that are now barren as deforested, if the area remains designated for forestry. But could it, should it be classified as forest degradation? Our own Senior Forest Conservation Manager, Dave Pearce unpacks Wildlands League’s 2019 Logging Scars report on the subject. We discuss the genesis of this pivotal report. What kickstarted our investigation into areas that were still barren 30 years or more after logging? What did we assume going into this, and what did we discover? The findings may surprise you.

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We return this week with our own Senior Forest Conservation Manager, Dave Pearce, to cover the wider implications of Wildlands’ Logging Scars report. In our last episode we learned that Wildlands League’s study showed an average of

14% of the forest is not regenerated after one cycle of full-tree harvesting. While that may not seem like a significant impact to the forest, Dave explains why this isn’t the case. In addition to reducing our resilience to climate change, logging scars spell serious trouble for biodiversity as well.  We give context to degradation in Canada’s forests and why there’s a need for higher quality data to better understand the impacts of logging on the landscape. Check out the Logging Scars webpage to read the report and see the eye-opening images.

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Every year the federal government publishes a ‘State of the Forest’ report which, touts itself as “a trusted and authoritative source of comprehensive information on the social, economic and environmental state of Canada’s

forests and forest sector for 33 years.” But do these annual reports truly accomplish this promise? This year, 8 environmental organizations released their own report, The State of the Forest in Canada: Seeing Through the Spin, to challenge many of the conclusions in the government’s annual report. We sit down with the David Suzuki Foundation’s Rachel Plotkin and the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Dr. Julee Boan to discuss the details of this investigation. Why is the government’s annual report inadequate? What is missing, and what are the ramifications?

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We return to our conversation with Rachel Plotkin from the David Suzuki Foundation and Dr. Julee Boan from the Natural Resources Defense Council. This week we’re talking caribou and the economics of forestry. The

forest industry seems to have a convoluted relationship with species at risk- specifically caribou, since much of their habitat overlaps with forest areas where harvesting takes place. Julee and Rachel break down the two narratives that are simultaneously taking place. One behind closed doors that seems to understand the science and is amenable to protecting this indicator species, another in the public arena that paints caribou conservation as a threat to economic health. Are economic and environmental values inherently at odds? Or as Rachel says, is there “room for both”?

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Last summer was a record-breaking wildfire season for Canada. As smoke blanketed major Canadian cities and even portions of the East Coast and Midwest of the United States, media coverage soared. This year, wildfire season has

already started. Experts are warning of another series of catastrophic impacts. What is driving these unprecedented, longer wildfire seasons? Is there something missing in the public narrative? In this episode, we’re looking for answers. This week, we set the stage for our wildfire inquiry by asking some of the pressing questions with a fire ecologist expert. We sit down with Jen Baron from the University of British Columbia for some insights. What are the main drivers? What is the role of forest management policies, and is there a disconnect between the two?

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This week we return to our conversation with fire ecologist Jen Baron from the University of British Columbia. In our last episode, we explored the main causes of the severe wildfires we’ve been experiencing in recent years.

Now we turn our focus to strategies for managing those factors within our control.
We know wildfires are driven by topography, climate, and the availability of fuel. While we can’t alter a forest’s underlying topography, we can reduce the carbon emissions fueling climate change. And in the short term, we can improve forest management practices, such as fire suppression and clearcutting, to prevent an increase in flammable material. With Jen, we explore tools that can break the cycle of a century of fire suppression. What are the opportunities for forestry and what is missing from the public discourse on wildfires?

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It’s been almost a year since Canada’s Online News Act was passed, and in response Meta blocked links to Canadian news on Facebook and Instagram. This has created a void of fact checked articles that meet journalistic

standards and ethics on those platforms. As a result, information about wildfires, forestry and forests from respected media sources is not shareable via social media. We sit down with Joan Baxter from the Halifax Examiner about her recent article on the growing problem of greenwashing in an age of digital information sharing.  We discuss the Forest Products Association’s (FPAC) ‘Forestry for the Future’ advertising campaign that’s been proliferating across social media. Joan breaks down how this could be problematic in the absence of independent journalism on Canada’s forests available on those platforms. How can those concerned about Canada’s forests and climate become better at identifying industry public relations materials?

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We return this week with journalist Joan Baxter, who dives deeper into her work for the Deforestation Inc. investigative series that showcases reporting from 300 journalists worldwide. Joan shares with us her findings on

ecologically destructive practices hidden behind sustainability claims. We learn about how Joan’s investigation into Canada’s logging industry helped uncover a web of corporate consolidation that has been aided by funding from taxpayers. We also discuss her book, The Mill: Fifty Years of Pulp and Protest, the story of taxpayer support for the Northern Pulp Mill in Nova Scotia and its history of “environmental racism” and public protests.

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